Sunday, July 31, 2016
I was a little disappointed in the wildlife in Banff, truth be told. Yes, we saw a herd of elk our first night there. BUT, they talk about the animals just walking down the mainstreet of Banff. Never saw that. Except for the horses that pulled carriages. I mean, the entire town has bear proof trash cans outside. No big animals. Sigh. We did, however, have three (possibly four) bear sightings in our time in Canada. Two while we were in Banff, one or two in EC Manning.
We needed a place to camp between Banff and Seattle, so I scoured our Adventure Atlas (Rand McNally) to find a campground and settled on EC Manning Provincial Park in BC. We arrived to find our reserved spot filled, but without people. Hmmm... After driving around a bit and talking to a ranger, we made our way back to our site to find the dad examining our reservation sheet on the campsite post. We hung out for a bit at the campground playground while they packed up and left, and then made our way over to our riverfront site. And oh, was it worth the wait.
Saturday, July 30, 2016
We took a day and left Banff and headed up to Jasper National Park. It was a much quieter experience. We got to see three different lakes: Hector Lake, Lower Waterfowl Lake, and Bow Lake. We were part of just a handful of people at each lake.
Lake Louise was on my list of things to do in Banff. It's a very popular site. VERY POPULAR. With the gigantic mobile, we were able to pass all the other vehicles vying for car parking and head right to bus parking. Right off the trail. SWEET!
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Seriously hate travel days. Break down, set up, spend all day in the car....find out you made the stupid reservation for the wrong stinking month. Holy stink. So that's $120 worth of mistake I'll never get back. BUT, we did get a campsite, and we arrived here early enough to setup. Without lunch, though. Travelled all day, passed a time zone, and didn't get dinner until 6pm local. We were all hungry and cranky. So we got dinner before going to the local grocery store. It's a nice store. But I held off on major purchases because we need to hit Costco and Wal-Mart, and I might as well get the majority of things while I'm at those places. Benewah campground at Heyburn State Park (still Idaho) is beautiful. It's a forest on a lake, the marshy end of a lake. While the temperature at night here was similar to Lake Cascade, it felt warmer because of the trees surrounding us. G and I have been having some allergy issues, but I'm taking my meds. Him? Not so much. He'll take it if he gets desperate. Today we're headed to Couer d'Alene to hit the Costco and Wal-Mart and have a poke around. We might also try to hit Spokane while we're here. A friend reminded us to renew our DMNS membership so that we could get reciprocity entrance at a bunch of different museums, and one happens to be in Spokane. So thank you, Jamie!
I've been wanting to hike for a while now. I tend to associate getting to camp with getting to hike. We haven't done a lot of it so far on this adventure, so when Bill asked what I wanted to do first, I said hike. While in Banff yesterday, I picked up several brochures on what to do in the area, and the Johnston hike looked awesome. Canyons, waterfalls...what more could I ask? We were not disappointed....
We're now international travelers!!!!! We crossed the border into Canada around 4pm, much later than we had wanted.
K and I went for a girls only hike while at Benewah. We practiced our observation skills and really enjoyed what we saw and heard.
Sunday, July 17, 2016
For Mass today we decided to head into Spokane. It's only about an hour away from our campsite, we missed all the masses near our campsite (Saturday masses only), and we wouldn't have a chance to be back in Spokane any time soon. Bill did some searching and found St. Aloysius on Gonzaga's campus.
So camping isn't as cheap as I might have imagined, especially when you get hit with transaction fees PER NIGHT when you make a reservation. But really Idaho? Places we've stayed are all even dollar amounts per night. Not Idaho. Lake Cascade was $18.78/night (c'mon guys), and Benewah is $20.14. I'm good at math, but that's just absurd to put me at a pay station and ask me to figure out a 5 night stay. And it's different if you're a resident (still not even dollar amounts, though). Oh, and if you have a park pass, at some you subtract $5/night, but others you pay an additional $5/night if you DON'T have one. Crikeys, guys, get it together.